Putting Out Fires

Matt Richards has never given much thought to Valentine’s Day, but when his lover of almost three years, Jared Thomas, hints that he feels unappreciated, Matt realizes he needs to do something. He’s determined to make this Valentine’s Day special, but nothing is going to turn out the way Matt plans.

A very short little story for Valentine’s Day. Available only through Dreamspinner Press. Buy it here.

44 Responses to Putting Out Fires

  1. Jessica says:

    OMG! I’m italian, but I translated all your stories because they’re amazing. Matt and Jared are my favorite characters and I’m so excited to read another story about their! You’re an amazing writer, and I’m grateful to have found your stories!

  2. Hannah says:

    So I have just finished the Coda series so far…AH-MA-ZING really gets your heart racing if your into m/m romances. Will there be more books in the making….Please say yes!!I don’t know what id do without my coda boys???

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Thanks Hannah. I’m glad you enjoyed the series. Honestly, I have nothing else in the works for them right now, but anything could happen.

  3. dave says:

    Hi Marie. Is there any chance that your publishers will put this into digital format ie Kindle? I really hope so. I can not find a copy even in paperback on amazon.co.uk

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Hi Dave! At this point, I don’t think there are any plans to make it available anywhere other than the DSP site, simply because it’s such a short story. If you buy the prc format, it is Kindle compatible.

      Hope that helps. Thanks!

  4. Ginny says:

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed “Putting Out Fires” – delightful short story. I’ve missed the boys of Coda!

  5. Tammy says:

    I love the Coda guys!! All of them but Matt is one of the best not saying Angelo is also great!! This story had my laughing so hard I was crying especially with Matt cooking!! He was so sweet!! Thanks for more of the stories about the guys!! I hope you are not finished with any of them yet though. They are great characters!!!

  6. Salem says:

    Do you think about ever putting all short stories for the coda series in an anthology for print? I am one of those people who refuse to by an e-reader because i love the feel of a physical book. :( sometimes that sucks but can’t help it.

  7. nix says:


    I meant to write right after I purchased the book and let you know how very much I enjoyed it. I always, always love Matt and Jared and the entire novella was soo very them. I too, got tears from laughing at Matt’s very male logic. I also rather enjoyed Angelo’s gift suggestions and Zach’s brief horror at not getting a gift. You have such a way of putting words to a page and I always come away wanting more. Very much looking forward to Paris A to Z.

  8. Tracey says:

    Hey Marie,

    any idea if this story will be out on Amazon for the Kindle? I love all your other books but especially Jared and Matt’s story.

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Tracy, I found out very recently that DSP doesn’t sell their short stories on Amazon. :-( Bummer, I know. However, if you buy the story from DSP, and download the PRC version, it will be Kindle compatible.

      Thanks, and hope you like it!

  9. Julia says:

    Hi Marie

    Have just stumbled, wide-eyed and blinking furiously, into the M/M world. You’re my fifth toe to be dipped in the water, author-wise, and my Kindle is a smoking mess already.

    I just finished “Putting Out Fires” and had to sit down and get this out while the tears of laughter are still drying. Okay…I haven’t laughed that hard in YEARS….

    Something about Matt’s baffled but utterly sincere search for a meaningful act or gesture for the holiday…something that will truly represent his relationship and how he feels about Jared. Something about his completely earnest (blockhead male) assumption that barbeque is the only possible way to cook meat, even when there’s snow on the ground. Something about meeting a broiler element for the first time and his righteous satisfaction in the idea that heat = cooking. Period. The entirely logical assumption that, no matter the method, the meat goes straight on the rack. And on and on and on. The scene was brilliant because every single assumption Matt made was within logical bounds, one step led to the next in a perfectly thought-out sequence…if you’re a guy. And all the while careening earnestly, wildly, toward a complete train wreck in the kitchen.

    He never gave up. He never stopped trying.

    And using the roses to….oh my god…I inhaled my vegetable fried rice at that point and frightened my chihuahua right out the dog door into the cold dark night.

    Anyway…thank you for taking the time…making the effort to get these wonderful men out of your head and onto the page. I know writing is labor of love and I wanted you to know that for me and so many others, it’s a gift we appreciate.

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed Putting Out Fires. This entire story came from a conversation with my husband about the Paris story (coming out in April). My DH said, “For as much as you love Matt, you sure do get a lot of laughs at his expense.” And somehow that conversation turned into, “What would Matt do if ____?” And from that, this story was born. I have to admit, it was great fun to write, so I’m glad it’s fun to read as well!
      Thanks again!

    • Marie Sexton says:

      And I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the Coda series just as much! :-)

  10. Vladimir says:

    Oops! I just remembered that Jared celebrated his birthday in “Promises.” Sorry about that. Man that was embarassing. I guess that just leaves us with Matt and Zach’s birth dates then (“,)

  11. Vladimir says:

    Just read the day before yesterday and as expected, “Putting Out Fires” made me fall in love with Matt and Jared all over again.

    I was almost in tears laughing when Matt was asking Angelo about ideas on what to give Jared for Valentines day:

    “A blow job’s more of a birthday thing. Do somethin’ you don’t normally do but that you know he’ll get off on.”
    “Like what?”
    He rolled his eyes at me. “How would I know, man? I never been in the bedroom with him.”
    “Angelo, you’re still not helping.”
    “Fine,” he said. “You want real ideas?”
    He leaned against the movie display, crossing his arms to look at me with guarded mirth. “You ever worn eyeliner?”
    “What? No! Of course not!”

    (Hah! That was rich!)

    I was so glad I also got to know when Angelo’s birthday is. That was definitely a treat. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Matt or Jared celebrate their birthdays yet. I wonder what dates they are?

    Hope you can let us in on this bit of trivia Marie. And thank you again for another amazing story!

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Hi Vladimir! I actually do have a post that lists their birthdays, only because I realized while writing Strawberries that I needed to write them down if I’m going to keep them all straight! You can find it here: http://mariesexton.net/birthdays
      Thanks so much, and I’m really glad you enjoyed Putting Out Fire. :-)

  12. UKSandy says:

    Read it today Marie and LOVED IT. It was just sooooo funny. I read whilst at work and I was in stiches!

    Great short, sweet and funny story for Valentines Day.

    Bring on more Matt & Jared!

  13. Bubz says:


    I have the Valentine’s Day book cued up for purchase on Dreamspinner website–so excited. My friend Laura is buying it, too 😉

    Hope you are well, Happy Valentine’ Day a bit early to you and (((Angelo)))



    • Marie Sexton says:

      So glad you’re excited and Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well, from myself as well as Ang!

    • Laura says:

      Please Bubz, I already read it! Just hope my boss doesn’t find that out. Nope, I definitely wasn’t reading it at work! :)

      Love seeing more Matt and Jared, Marie! Another great story. Can’t wait for more! Nope, I’m not impatient or pushy or anything like that. 😉

      • Marie Sexton says:

        Haha! Well, you’ll get a bit more of them in April. :-)

        • VJB says:

          Marie, I have Read all of the coda books. I’m purchasing Putting Out Fires now!! However, I noticed you said ” we will see more of them in April” more of Matt and Jared?!?! PLEASE They are my favorite and I have read Promises 3 times! Any plans for another Matt and Jared story? :) please!

  14. UKSandy says:

    Marie – where can we buy this from? With the time difference can I buy as soon as it is one minute past Midnight? so I can have it on my kindle on 00:01 on 14th?

    • Marie Sexton says:

      The books on Dreamspinner do often pop up ahead of time. For me, they’re usually available the night before, so keep checking. Should be here.

  15. nicole says:

    Hi Marie,

    I am really, really excited about Putting Out Fires. I love all your books/novels, but Matt and Jared are my favorite. The next week is just going to kill me. I do have one question- When did Matt get a tattoo? I thought I had read everything you’ve written and more than once at that. So, Im wondering if I missed it or just forgot because its been a while. Lookinf forward to seeing whose art you pick. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Marie Sexton says:

      Matt doesn’t have one, but Jared does. I think he got it in college. He never mentions it in Promises (since it’s on his back, I think he almost forgets it’s there) but Matt mentions it in A to Z and The Letter Z.

      I hope you enjoy Putting Out Fires! And if you haven’t already read it, there’s another short story about them called The Promise. It’s available for free here.


  16. UKSandy says:

    Marie – double excited – can’t wait for Monday :)

  17. Heather M. says:

    it would be pretty cool to be able to design something…but yeah, not an artist either. i’ve been thinking hard, it’s gotta be something that reflects his personality. i have a good idea of what i’m looking for, just gotta find it!

  18. UKSandy says:

    I too will have to “borrow” when I can make my mind up what to start looking for.

  19. ThinkWithin says:

    I’m already searching. I wish I was an artist, but I’m not, so I will totally have to “borrow” from somwone else!

  20. UKSandy says:

    Well I’m going to re-read Promises I think before I make a decision on what to go for.

  21. UKSandy says:

    Whoooo Hoooo Marie – you just know how excited I am about this – I’m counting down the days!!!

    I spent all day today thinking of Jared’s tattoo!!!

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